Muscle Building in Your 40's
There is something of a preconceived notion that after the age of 40, everything goes downhill, and that includes your body. According to these myths, you can expect to gain weight faster and lose the hunger for keeping in shape that you had while you were in your thirties.
This, frankly, is a load of tosh. Of course you can still build muscle after the age of 40. Its only an arbitrary number that should have no sudden impact on your determination to be healthy and feel great.
The only factor you should take into consideration is the natural ageing process which our bodies all go through. With age, we tend to lose muscle naturally. In our 30s, we start to lose around 0.5-1% muscle mass per year.
This rate accelerates when we are in our 50s. We can also experience diminished recovery ability, and an increased risk of injury. However, with the right training and a good nutrition plan in place this does not have to be the case.
Your metabolism is also likely to slow down over time. This is only natural, and definitely shouldn’t be something you should feel held back by. Increasing your focus on cardio exercise will compensate for any potential effects of a slowed metabolism.
If you increase your lean muscle this can also have a positive effect on your metabolism - the more muscle we have, the more our metabolic rate is increased.
We recommend spending some time on a treadmill or a cross-trainer before and after your workout. A consistent rate of exercise on a machine will not only help warm you up for training, but the mechanical and consistent movement achieved on a machine will serve your joints much better than, say, jogging.
However, light jogging does not have to be tough on the knees provided that you don’t have any existing knee problems and you build up the distance you run gradually.
Don’t overdo it.
Allowing Time to Rest
Another factor is the amount of rest time you allow yourself on your current programme. While you might not feel the need, you should consider lowering your commitments to the gym by a notch or two.
Take another rest day, even if you don’t feel it’s necessary so that you have the full time to recover and be fighting fit for another session the next time.
To make the most of the rebuilding period after your exercise session aim to get a good hit of protein: ideally, at least 20g of high quality protein.
A product like Promax is perfect, as it contains whey protein. This is a protein known for being absorbed fast, meaning that it gets to your muscles quicker for rebuilding.
Remember to keep up those regular meals; try to get a balance of a small amount of carbohydrates and protein at each meal.
Ideally you should aim to consume some protein at each meal.
You can easily continue to get the muscle mass you want even after 40 - it’s all about striking the right balance between nutrition and training - and knowing your limitations.